The jeepney drivers and operators group Piston says it is ready for the eased social distancing protocols in the public transport sector, as it claims to consistently follow minimum health measures set by the Department of Transportation (DOTr). They are easing the minimum social distancing requirement in public transportation from one meter to 0.75 meters starting on Monday.
Russia has proposed to manufacture its vaccine for the new coronavirus in the Philippines, a move seen as opening a Southeast Asian hub for the production of its drug for COVID-19. The plan is part of a bilateral deal proposed by Russia to the Philippines, which includes joint clinical trials and immediate provision of vaccine supply after the third and final phase and regulatory approval.
With most parts of the country now under the less stricter modified general community quarantine, some places in northern Luzon will be opening their doors again to local travelers. Tourism Undersecretary Benito Bengzon said the department has launched the Ridge to Reef Corridor Plan last week. The initiative involves a travel bubble which covers Baguio City, Pangasinan, La Union, Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte.
The Philippines plans to gradually reactivate domestic tourism in October, but is not expecting the full resumption of international tourism until the middle of next year, a spokeswoman for the Department of Tourism told EFE on Monday.
But for this to happen, University of the Philippines professor and OCTA Research Team fellow Dr. Guido David said people still need to not just sustain recent gains of stricter quarantine protocols but to double their efforts in following minimum health standards in this drawn-out battle against the coronavirus disease.
The call for the speedy reopening of the economy is gaining ground as the Philippines sinks into the worst recession in three decades. As early as July, in fact, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry had urged government to allow businesses to operate at maximum capacity, arguing that to do otherwise would lead to more closures and job losses. The hope is that an economic bounce will come with the lifting of the lockdown.
The Joint Task Force COVID Shield, in coordination with the Philippine National Police, has ordered all police commanders to monitor social media to spot possible quarantine violations like mass gatherings for parties and drinking sessions.
Shoppers can now buy canned goods, disinfectants, and face masks in bigger quantities. Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said Wednesday that purchase limits for essential items have been lifted after more than three months as inventories normalize.
As governments around the world reevaluate adoption of 5G networks being rolled out by Chinese tech giants due to security issues, the United States is enjoining its allies, including the Philippines, to consider alternatives offered by firms not influenced by China’s government.
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